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16 November 2016

What is Social Listening?

Before you freak out and delete all your social media apps and messages, burn your clothes and run away to live in a forest to become a wooden spoon whittler… this is not some MI5, NSA, CIA or FBI style stalking and monitoring exercise (or did they just pay me to say that?)


All social channels have you covered when it comes to data protection within their terms and conditions (we can only see public posts and information!). So, don’t worry about deleting those “messages” …you know the ones I mean! 

So... What is social listening?

Social listening is the process of monitoring digital conversations around specific phrases, queries, keywords or brand mentions. The process is about more than just monitoring the usual brand mentions, @mentions and comments. Did you know that on average, 30% of Tweets that mention your company do not use your ‘@’ handle? This means a LOT of missed mentions, opportunities to engage with your audience, and a whole grey area of not knowing exactly what people are saying about your business.

By using social listening, you can identify communities that are talking about your brand or industry without the use of an ‘@’ handle. It’s essential to know what people are saying and social listening lets you use this to your advantage. It is also important to understand that “social listening” covers more than just Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The tool searches through blogs, news sites, traditional media, review sites, Google +, LinkedIn, Flicker, YouTube and so on.

Through social listening you can start to identify:

  • Key influencers (channel specific) 
  • Social communities 
  • Sub communities 
  • Key conversations 
  • Brand mentions 
  • Competitors 
  • Specific keywords
  • Specific customers 
  • Online trends 
  • Community vocabulary 

What can you do with all this information?

Social listening pulls together vast amounts of data. There are certain exercises that can be done to refine searches, such as different time frames, geo locations, demographics and languages, thus helping narrow the targeting. The most important part, however, is evaluating the data in the correct way and using this to strengthen your business’ objectives. The data pulled in from the listening tool can be used to populate and inform strategy for many different areas:

  • Influencer content
  • Brand positioning
  • Current and new advertisements
  • Creating appealing offerings 
  • Lead generation 
  • Contacting influencers 
  • Engaging with communities 
  • Marketing plans

We use social listening regularly for our clients and with our secret box of social media tools and weapons, we can put you ahead of the competition. It helps us keep an ear to the ground, especially when listening to what people are saying about your brand as well as your competitors. 


Think social listening is something that could benefit you? Want to know how it can leverage your new campaign over a competitor’s? Drop us an email and let’s chat!